Posted by: Paul | February 11, 2010

Normally Haphazard Service

Love it or hate it, there’s one thing you can always rely on the NHS for – and that’s to make an administrative mistake at every possible opportunity.

My father-in-law is just one of a litany of people I know who the NHS are currently messing about. He’s been waiting for a kidney procedure since the middle of last year – and also been waiting to find out whether it’s major or minor. They don’t really know what’s going on in there. In January he went in for what he was told would be an exploratory procedure, a week after which he was to see the consultant again and would be told if he had to go back, or if they had corrected things on the first go. Two weeks after, still having no news he calls them, only to be told that he only has a follow up appointment booked for April! They have no idea what’s going on, whether he has to have a second procedure, or even if they did anything at all the first time. He is in limbo.

Yesterday I took Adam back to the GP’s for his follow-up appointment, having been gluten-free for 3 weeks. The first thing she said to me was “What can I do for you?”, which I was a bit surprised at, since she made the appointment for us! Anyway, as it turns out, his results are incomplete – the lab did not do the Coeliac screen. The most important thing, the one thing we needed to know about above all else! The doc was not happy and gave them a grilling over the phone, but the upshot is he has to be re-tested. We’ll do it in 3 months time – he apparently has slightly low iron and is now on a supplement for that, and she is ordering another test to check his levels again, at which point we will get the Coeliac screen done AGAIN – hopefully successfully this time.

Both these cases are monumentally irritating, and it’s a good job neither of them is life-threatening. Can you imagine? It’s enough to make you go private. Fortunately if something serious did occur we have medical insurance through Alison’s company which covers the three of us. I wouldn’t trust the NHS not to make a mistake over something which was urgent…

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